Welcome back to the Womens Bible Cafe™. This week we finished reading week seven of Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore and learned about two more fruit: Kindness and Goodness. When Beth compares and contrasts the two fruits, we find Kindness (chrestoles in Greek) means tenderhearted or harmless as a dove while Goodness (agathosune in Greek) means benevolent and active or shrewd as a snake. Our study examined the cords of kindness and examples of Jesus demonstrating kindness to a mourner, a doubter,and a mocker. As in the past weeks, this study was rich with scripture verses and practical knowledge.
Beth Moore writes, “the fruit of the Spirit is absolutely divine. They are impossible goals for the unbeliever, yet attainable-but not automatic-graces for the true believer.” Throughout the past seven weeks of our study, we’ve seen evidence of this.
With God as the Giver, we receive these gifts to do good and benefit those He loves. Beth reminds us to pray we’ll use our gifts as God intended, completing the course He has set before us, and ending with the outcome of Kindness and Goodness towards others.
This is our generation and we have the opportunity to impact it…when we do so with the love of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit as the center of our heart, , mind and soul. We’ve already unlocked the importance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness. In the remaining three weeks of this study, we’ll focus on the fruit of Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.Deut 7:9
Assignment For Next Week
- Read Week Eight in the workbook
- Listen to the Session Eight Audio (optional)
- OR…Listen to the Session Eight Video (optional)
1. God has never forgotten me, but I turned away from him many times before. I can not imagine ever doing that again. It led to a lot of trouble.
2. When I was turned away I eventually became a mocker. Most people don’t turn away in one day. It is a slow drift. Then the more you drift the further out you get.
3. This reminded me of being a teacher. The more responsible the kids are the more I trust them. The greater the trust, the more I can trust them with.
When my mother was killed, I felt forgotten by God. I often wonder how different my life would have been had that one dreadful incident had not occurred. But many people have made the statement that “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I try to let that take some of the sting away, but so many times I still don’t feel very strong. This week’s lesson shows me that God’s plans don’t always make sense to us because we only see them from one point of view. This incident may have been catastrophic in nature, but it may have been the catalyst for something great.
I do not believe God has ever forgotten me however I, think there are times that have been so dark that I have not been able to “see” him. It is during these times I have leaned on my own emotions and not His Promises.
One, such time was when I lost my mom. I had performed CPR on her for an hour, the fire dept got lost (oops) and by the time emergency personnel arrived I was praying that they would not be able to revive her because of the physical condition she might have been in because of lack of oxygen. She went home that night and all I thought,was “God, where were you? You could of saved her.” I was 24 had just lost my daughter and my uncle, and my mom in one weeks time. What I did not realize 20 years ago was God was there and has used those experiences in my life to comfort others and provided me with a wisdom that many at 24 do not have. I look back and although difficult it was one of the best experiences of my life, even if, I did not realize it at the time…peace that surpasses all understanding.
Oh My goodness Dedie that is unfathomable.
Your question to God – “Where were you?” Reminds me of when I asked that same question – “Where were you? I asked you to take care of him while I was gone!”.
My husband was in a hospital an hour from home with a broken vertebrae. He was in great pain and using a narcotic for pain control. I debated leaving him for 1 hour for a lunch break. The nurses encouraged me to do so. I left and when I returned one hour later, before I got to the room a nurse approached me with a sense of urgency telling me that I needed to stay with him and make sure his sed rate stayed up to a certain level as well as his heart rate. The drug had relaxed him so that he didn’t have the energy to breath. At one point as I shook him to stimulate him to breath he said “I can’t”. I said, “you have to…for your family.” and I named all 4 of our kids. I had left the hospital reluctantly but asking the Lord to take care of him and returned to that dreadful scene asking God, “Where were you.” David did recover. And God made it clear that He was speaking to me through that pain…..about loving my husband, etc.
I am so thankful your husband recovered (I have a David too 🙂 ). The experiences I have had only have increased my love for our Savior. It is during these times that His compassion and love is revealed while my weaknesses are reveled. The pain of losing or thinking of losing someone is overwhelming but the opportunity for Him to bless us during these times is something I would not change for the world. I will see my family again 🙂
It was quite a week for sure! My uncle who was my Mom’s favorite brother passed at 6pm and she, who we thought was in decent health passed at 6am the following morning. It was by “coincidence” that I was even there with her because I had married, had children, and had already moved out of the house. I stayed with her that night because her brother had passed and she lived alone. What a gift! Had God not orchestrated the chain of events I would not have had that night with her nor would I have been with her when she went home. What a beautiful gift to have been there!!
I have had opportunities because of those events to volunteer with hospice, hospice my own father in our home when he became terminally ill, and given peace so, I do not fear it. In all things God is Good. We serve a loving and compassionate Lord and I can say thankfully I have never had another week like that 🙂
I still miss my daughter almost 20 years later. That is something I continue to deal with and always will but I know where she is and I know she is safe and as a Mom that is all I pray for: the safety and salvation of my children. There is peace there <3
Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your faith in our Savior.
Both your story of your losses and your faith through it all(negative and positive, grief and hope) bring tears to my eyes.
God bless you.
Wow! You all are truly an inspiration. To have gone thru everything, my life seems so simple.
I have felt abandoned by God because I too have lost both of my parents who were my best friends and I thank God every day that we had the chance to play together before they left this world, 14 & 4 years ago now. My mom passed when I was pregnant with my son. God is good to give us the time together and yet I complain about the time not being long enough and her never getting to meet the grandson she so desperately wanted but I know they are with Him now and watching over us.
It must have been very difficult to lose your mom, when you were pregnant. My mom did not have the opportunity to meet two of my children here and that was difficult.
I think for myself what has helped me to overcome that sense of not having enough time together (always to short) is realizing that the time here on earth is never long enough be it 20 years or 80. We always want more time when someone we love goes home. Secondly there will be a day when I will be with those I love for eternity! I do not know if, you have read the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. If not, I would strongly suggest you read it. It was a pivotal life changing moment for me. I look forward to being reunited with my friends and family and hugging our Lord and Savior if, I can stand at that moment :)What a beautiful, wonderful, amazing hope we have in Him!
Thank You for working for Hospice…my beloved Grandmother is going through the dying process and Hospice has been such a blessing to us. Thank You for sharing the Hope we have in Jesus (Where she will be soon). You are a special person.
Thank you for your kind words. I, like all of us, am just His hands and feet.
I like what we have been learning. It was mentioned that God allows us to go through difficult situations so, we can come up along side our sisters and brothers and be a source of comfort. I bet He will use you to do that someday if, He has not already done so. It is privilege to do His work, isn’t it and it brings joy, even in hard times, knowing that for those who love Him our difficult situations will bring comfort to others just as He provides comfort to us now.
I will keep you and your family in prayer.
I have come to truly, truly believe that God IS all we need. About a year ago trying so hard to get everybody where they need to go, when they need to be there, things weren’t working out and I found myself doubting that belief. But of course in the end God worked things out and showed me that it is true – He is all I need.
Just recently, with the weight of responsibilities, I found myself feeling like even God wasn’t helping me. I knew that wasn’t true but what God taught me through this time was that He wants me to share my heart with Him. I kept hearing Him telling me to tell Him that I felt He wasn’t helping me. I didn’t want to tell Him because I knew it wasn’t true and I love Him – He hadn’t left me alone without His help. But that feeling was there and if I would just tell Him I’d be sharing/giving more of myself to Him. Yep. It was necessary to tell Him. He does want to hear it all. He wants our heart.
I’ve always felt that the Lord deals tenderly with me. Even the worst instances when I could understand some harsh consequences, His “harsh” is done tenderly. He knows what each one of us needs. : )
Honestly I don’t understand Matt. 25:29
Probably a doubter. Even though I know Jesus died for me thousand years ago, I still tend to think He has forgotten about me. GOD has all ways come through for me but when tough time come, I let Satan have that little tiny foot hold of doubt. ” If GOD loves you why would He let this happen to you?” “Where is He now?” “Why hasn’t He come to help you” Little by little Satan worms his way in there. Suddenly my mind will open up, the Son shines in and GOD is there.
I am sorry I doubt you. You gave Your only Son for me. I know, I know You love me.
Please don’t ever give up on me even though I still doubt You at times.
God bless you all and keep you tight in His hand.
1. I don’t think I have ever been forgotten by God, but I think I have definitely forgotten Him. So many times I have just quit trying, doing what I thought was best, and I had hard times where I couldn’t feel His presence… and it was because of the wall put up by me.
2. All of these- a mourner, because so many times I’ve asked, “Why me, God?” A doubter-could He really love me… I am sooo unworthy (and I still find myself saying that!) And a mocker in all of the times I’ve rejected Him… walked away and trampled on His love. but Thank God, He is still here for me. God will never leave me or forsake me… even after I’ve done what I’ve done.
3. Our abilities are God’s to give and take away, so we must use what we are given. Increased responsibility indicates increased trust, and closer intimacy.
4. Not sure about a garden tool… I was impressed by the difference between kindness and goodness. I had never really thought of the necessity of being harsh… guess I’m passive aggressive and nonconfrontational. I also loved learning about being tenderhearted… and I pray that God will help that aspect grow in me.
1)I would have to agree with what others have said, I dont believe that God has ever forgotten me but I have forgotten him. Many times in my life I would turn to him only when I was in great distress or pain when I needed something from him. I missed so many opportunities to give Him something in return. Thank goodness I am learning to change that.
2) I have definately been a doubter, when you dont grom up in a Christian home or surround yourself with believers it is easy to buy into what non believers will say to you to try and get you to see their point of view. Despite not having a Christian upbringing I was lucky to be graced with a mother in law who is a Christian. She has been such a blessing in my life.
3)I felt it was fair, God gives us our “gifts” if we fail to realize we have them and use them the way He intended then we dont deserve them.
1. I would say yes to this, but it is more of I left Him standing behind. As I continue to sin and grieve the Holy Spirit. I have turned away from HIM many times in my life, but I always come back to HIM…and it just simply amazes me HE takes me back….GOD IS SO AWESOME. I need to learn to give back to HIM all HE has given me.
2. DOUBTER…..for it took along time for me to believe someone would die for my sins….ME A SINNER…..A BIG ONE!! I left HIM came back and did it all over again, and again. Just like a yo-yo.
3. Fair….If we do not…. use what God gives us we do not deserve them….gifts, forgiveness, and His love.
4. I need to learn to do one THING will for Christ only be it may……study, read the bible, care for my husband, or the BIG ONE BELIEVE.
I know that God has never forgotten me but many times I have chosen to willfully walk away from Him. I know he knows my name but tend to see Him more as a God who sits in judgement than a loving heavenly father. It is the instances that I start to realize way down deep in my spirit just how much HE LOVES ME that I am totally in aswe.
1. Have you ever felt forgotten by God? If so, when? (page 140)
At times when I get depressed when I cannot seem to see any good, or things just seem hopeless.
2. Christ appeared to those who needed Him: a mourner ,a doubter and a mocker. Which example in our study reminded you of a way He dealt with you in the past and why? (page 147)
Thomas reminds me the most of how I have had to be dealt with. Like it said in the study He know Jesus would die but couldn’t seem to wrap his mind around the “risen” Jesus. Maybe he was dis-hearten. Maybe his sadness blocked his ability to grasp the whole situation. He said “I’d have to put my hands in the wounds” but really he believed at first sight. I think God has had to deal with my stubbornness the same way…..SEE this is the right way, SEE this did turn out ok. SEE this is what I meant. And like Thomas I am like “oh geez, how did I ever come to doubt you!?”
3. Do you consider Matthew 25:29 to be fair? Why? (page 151)
The last servant lacks in a relationship, and trust with his master . He said he knew where his master stood on the harvesting and gathering. And still he did nothing with the talent. It is almost like the servant is acting in rebellion. You gave me this, I give it back…. The responsibility wasted. The servant didn’t care to help or impress his master with a good deed. His focus was on his master’s harshness NOT on his kindness or goodness. And so the servant didn’t demonstrate any in return. He was lazy and tried to blame his laziness on his master, like it was his fault for being lazy. The servant said you’re a hard man, in response to that he had “not done.” Lack of action can be as bad as taking the wrong action. Either can lead to sin.
4. Share something valuable you learned this week, a “Garden Tool” from our study
A watering can comes to mind, for this week’s gardening tool. Kindness and goodness poured out on me, from my savior as I pour out the same to others. The Holy spirit being poured out to all, tiding us over till the reign of our savior , like the water from the watering can helps the plants last until a good gentle rain.
Loved the watering can…
I have a unrelated question. Any ideas or insites regarding 1 Cor 11:3-16
My study Bible basically says the comments are based on the culture of the time. How would one know? It also mentions it may be a form of protection against fallen angels, verse 10. So, is it God’s will we show him honor by covering our heads? If that is God’s desire, it’s my command. Any ideas?
Try looking at different Bible translations to further understand the verse?
1.Have you ever felt forgotten by God? If so, when? (page 140) Oh I have felt forgottten by God at one time in life when I was a single mother and very ill. There seemed to be no end to the trouble then. It all turned out for the good though. Had I not gone through that I would not know how to be towards others and it did land me here with my parents and that has been a huge blessing for us all.
2.Christ appeared to those who needed Him: a mourner,a doubter and a mocker. Which example in our study reminded you of a way He dealt with you in the past and why? (page 147) Oh not that long ago I would have to say he dealt with me as a doubter. I hate to admit it but I went through quite a time doubting whether everything I thought I knew was just not real. I am coming around now and sure pray for forgiveness for that.
3.Do you consider Matthew 25:29 to be fair? Why? (page 151) Yes I do think it is fair we should all be attentive to our talents and use them wisely. Life goes by quickly and in the end we all do want to be able to hear we did as we were destined to. That we lived our life using our talents and being selfless.
4.Share something valuable you learned this week, a “Garden Tool” from our study. I think I am a very kind person but I am not sure I am always a good person. I am going to focus more on goodness. The actual doing consistently not giving excuses that I am too busy.
1. I was at a point in my life where I thought everyone had forgotten me. When I was not actively walking with the lord, I wanted my dad to take God’s place & my dad always disappointed me. It made me angry…
2. Mourner- I was always trying to find love from my earthly father. God showed me that I need to seek my heavenly fathers love.
3. Yes, It is all about being faithful. God as entrusted us to be good & faithful servants.
1. I think when I got myself into trouble after highschool and the life I had been leading crumbled all around me. I felt as if everyone had abandoned me, when in reality, I had abandoned everyone, including God.
2. The doubter- When I doubted Him, He didn’t have to prove Himself to me, but He did so that I would believe!!!
3. If you “have” by receiving in a good manner, then yes, I think it is fair. God is just and right in everything that He does- His plan is to be glorified even when our actions here on earth may not have been done for His glorification.
4. a) The Lord’s kindness is so much bigger than anything we could imagine. He is the ultimate nurturing Parent.
b) I need to let Him be the tender parent to me; let Him hold and rock me some, so that I may be better equipped to do the same for my 2 children.
c) He is so tender toward us yet also a strong protector who covers us! I long to be like Him- tender and strong all at once!!!
d) I want to be a good & faithful servant! I pray that I complete my tasks for the King & Kingdom! I vow to do good and be obedient!
One more garden tool for Day 5)
The good can come through pleasure or through pain: But if it’s for the Kingdom, it is always worth it!!! 🙂
4. Share something valuable you learned this week, a “Garden Tool” from our study. At the beginning when it about the kindness and goodness about God.